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A craniotomy is brain surgery. During this procedure, a neurosurgeon makes an incision in the scalp, removes a part of the skull, and evaluates or makes repairs to brain tissue.
Dignity Health Central California offers world-class neurology services and care to treat a wide array of neurological conditions. If you’ve been referred to a specialist for craniotomy in Central California, use our search tool and Find a Doctor today.
If your doctor has recommended brain surgery to treat an injury or disorder, the first step in the procedure is a craniotomy. Your surgeon removes small sections of your scalp and skull bone to access your brain. This may be necessary in order to:
Before a craniotomy, your doctor will give you all the information you need so you can know how to prepare and what to expect.
Brain surgery is a major operation requiring general anesthesia. You’ll be in a Dignity Health Central California hospital for your craniotomy and part of your recovery period. Once anesthesia is administered, your surgeon will make incisions to access your scalp, skull, and brain. Once the evaluation or repairs have been made, your surgeon will replace the bone and scalp, then close up the incisions.
Depending on your condition and overall health, you may be a candidate for an “awake” craniotomy. During this procedure, you’ll be awakened and asked to perform simple tasks, such as raising your hands. You won’t feel any pain, even while you’re awake. Your doctor may perform this type of procedure to assess your motor skills — specifically how stimulating parts of your brain affects them. Once complete, your anesthesiologist will put you back to sleep.
Once surgery is finished, you’ll be moved to a special recovery area, and then to a neurointensive care unit (neuro ICU). You’ll stay there until your care team determines that it’s safe for you to go home. You may need to stay in the hospital for several days after brain surgery. If you have pain and swelling, don’t panic. This is normal. Your doctor will give you special instructions for your post-surgery care, including any medications you may need, a safe activity level, and when you need to come back for a checkup.
To learn more about this potentially life-saving procedure, talk with a provider at Dignity Health Central California.